Disappointment about the Sana’a Conference communique [Archives:2006/959/Front Page]

June 29 2006

SANA'A, June 26 ) The official communique on democracy, political reform, and freedom of expression was received with displeasure form most participants especially those representing civil society organizations and media organizations.

Many participants said that the communique did not representative of the outcome of the two-day-long conference. Lawyer Mohammed Naji Allow, director of the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, summed up the impression of the participants thusly: “We were hoping that this conference would result in mechanisms in order to execute the recommendations of the previous seven conferences on the same subject.

“But unfortunately, the recommendations continue to be ignored and new more fragile recommendations are being formulated because of the failure to adopt or execute the previous ones.

“It seems that the government's intentions are to deceive donors through public relations campaigns and media coverage, which donors, too, seem to enjoy, and spending budgets on such conferences which have no tangible effect on the human rights realities of the country.

“This conference could've been more successful had we formulated a mechanism to measure the effects in each participant country and committees were formulated to follow up on the findings and recommendations, and therefore annual conferences would come up with reports to be discussed in these conferences to find out where the problem lies. Was it cultural, systemic or legislative, et cetera?,” said Allow.

Full details of the conference and the communique will be published on the report page in the next issue of the Yemen Times.